J.K. v. Arizona Board of Regents (02/26/2008)
A student from the Arizona state university was barred from the university following allegations of sexual harassment; however the Arizona state university latter reinstates him. He was then allegedly accused of sexually abusing the plaintiff in J. K. vs. Arizona board of Regents, and she subsequently sued ASU for contravening her Title IX rights. At the beginning of 2009, a court settlement instructed ASU to compensate the plaintiff with $850,000 dollars and subsequently recruit a student safety coordinator to restructure the university’s policy on sexual abuse and assault (Munson, 2009).
Darnel Henderson a member of the ASU football team was allegedly accused of threatening, physically holding, and harassing several female students at a pre-freshman alteration program. He was also reported to have indecently exposed himself to a member of the staff. He was subsequently expelled by the ASU board due to his actions. However following a protest from the ASU football team coach, Henderson was later reinstated at ASU under a zero tolerance program and consequently allowed to reside in the freshman hostels (ACLUa, n.d.)
Come spring, Henderson entered the hostel room of a fellow student J.K. and was reported to have sexually assaulted her. From the findings of an investigation carried out by the university, Henderson was found to be liable of the offence and subsequently expelled from the school for the second time. After his expulsion it became vivid that Henderson would not be able to pay damages and the plaintiff’s lawyer opted to sue the university board. During February in 2008, the ACLU women’s rights project (WRP), in conjunction with ACLU of Arizona and various women advocacy societies filled a petition on behalf of the plaintiff. The brief argued to the court that ASU was legally liable within the Title IX for the sexual assault and discrimination experienced by the plaintiff, as ASU was currently aware that the player in question had been previously repotted for several accounts of sexual harassment against female students and staff members (ACLUb, n.d.)
The legal question was whether the ASU board had knowledge about the conduct of Henderson when they reinstated him back to the university and dorms of residence? J. K. finally sued the ASU and particularly argued that the university was liable for the incident since ASU reinstated Henderson despite being proven to be a security risk to both female students and female staff members. On 30th of September, 2008, the district court presided over by judge Mary Murguia refused a motion of summary judgment placed by ASU. The court citing on WRP’s brief and basing on statements tabled in response to the ASU brief, the court held that the ASU board had specific knowledge of the alleged sexual harassment. The court held that the school was responsible within the Title IX of the conduct of students if the school had precise knowledge about the potential risk Henderson had in relation to the equal opportunity of female students and staff in the institution (AAUW, n.d.).
On the 8th of January, 2009, a satisfactory agreement was obtained to settle the matter, which stipulated that ASU should employ a nationwide student safety advisor, tasked with the responsibility of carrying out reforms and reviews on the existing procedures of investigating and reporting cases of sexual harassment and assault, and awarded the plaintiff fees and damages amounting to $850,000 dollars (Munson, 2009).